03 March 2012, by Taylor King Family Law Solicitors
The case of Lawrence v Gallagher is the first substantial appeal concerning financial orders upon dissolution of a civil partnership.
The judgment confirms that the courts will treat civil partners in the same way as married couples when agreeing financial settlements upon the breakdown of the relationship.
The assets to be divided totalled approximately £4million and the court had awarded Mr Gallagher a share of £1.7 million. However Mr Lawrence, in his appeal, wanted a London flat purchased in his sole name prior to the start of the relationship ring fenced. Lord Justice Thorpe allowed the appeal in part; reducing the lump sum awarded but at the same time indicating that ring fencing the London property was “quite unrealistic”.
Although this case is not significant on its facts, it cements the idea that civil partnerships are dealt with in exactly the same way as marriages when considering how to divide the assets when the relationship comes to an end.